Category: Articles

Three Fun Activities to Keep Students Writing

Writers get better by writing, says author and ELA teacher Marilyn Pryle. “It’s our job to have students write regularly, genuinely, and with ownership.” She shares three fun writing tasks (including directions, a model and a prewrite activity) that get the job done!

4 Creative Ways to Use Nonfiction Text Sets

The free education site CommonLit has created nearly 1000 document-based lesson plans and a growing collection of differentiated nonfiction text sets. Rob Fleisher, the non-profit’s director of school partnerships, shares some creative ways to tap these rich resources.

Rethink First-Day Writing to Better Engage Kids

Literacy coach Shawna Coppola urges us to rethink the familiar start-of-year writing activity – the personal narrative. In its place she suggests a framework of ideas to free students to write about what interests them. As we try new approaches, we also renew ourselves.

Creating the Urgency to Lead Schools Forward

To break through the complacency that often slows positive school change, author and middle level leader Ron Williamson turns to Harvard Business School professor John Kotter for four strategies school leaders can use to create urgency within their organizations.

Teacher: Step Away From That Red Pen!

Young writers will blossom when teachers trade in their red pens for an appreciative approach to feedback, says consultant Patty McGee. As writing mentors, teachers help students achieve quality writing with originality, voice, and style. McGee includes more than a dozen teaching tools.

Use Some Time During Summer Break To Heal

Instead of using summer to squeeze in back-to-back PD or obsessively plan for the coming year, teachers can benefit by devoting some time to restore our energy and renew our sense of self. Author and educator Debbie Silver offers some wise guidance to get us started.

Thanks, Alex Hamilton, for Your Profound Effect

Laurie Lichtenstein can’t let the school year end without thanking Lin Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton for his profound effect on her 7th grade American history class. Her open letter to the Founding Father shares her students’ new excitement for history’s unfolding drama.